I was reading this morning in Paramahansa Yogananda’s treatise, The Second Coming of Christ. Regarding Moses’ receipt of the gift of the Ten Commandments, P.Y. says, “the word commandment does not give the best connotation, for it is as if God is a dictator and man is His servile attendant. These dictums should be regarded as a code of natural righteousness.” In following them, we are blessed with lives filled with love and joy. When humanity could not see beyond the ‘commands’ and follow those divine laws, we fell out of tune with God. Jesus Christ was then born to reflect and apply God’s great capacity for unconditional love and forgiveness.
For nearly two years I’ve been writing about love and forgiveness and healing, choosing to see our errant human ways not as ‘sins,’ but as learning experiences. I figured we need to release our personal and group guilts and grow, and that God/Goddess/Light/ Love/Higher Self made us this way, so there has to be a road home for each of us.
I think that Paramahansa Yogananda, in giving the broader-consciousness perspective on the verses of the New Testament, is saying that sin is separation from the Christ Consciousness that created and permeates the universe and that we are sinners. He is a great spiritual master, respected and loved worldwide by millions of people, including me, with many centers teaching his precepts. If you’d like to better understand how the teachings of the East are the same as the teachings of the West (Christ Consciousness), and what the master’s definition of sin is, I’d recommend any of his writings. His Autobiography of a Yogi is truly a blessing, disguised as a book.:)
Having lived with profound guilt all my life, however, probably carried forward from past lives, I’m sticking with seeing my errors and mistakes as opportunities from which I am growing into the highest possible version of me. I don’t know if it’s the word ‘sin’ itself that bothers me, or if it’s because so many have judged others using the word harshly when they are blind to their own ‘sins.’ None of us is fit to ‘cast the first stone.’
Now, onto the subject of free will. In the past I’ve thought of free will as the passport to come and go, to do or not do, to give or take, to love life or to fear life. I remembered this morning when my son said to me years ago, “But it’s not really free will, mom, if we have problems or get in trouble for what we do.” So, what is free will? I believe it is the freedom to learn from our mistakes, to find our callings, to awaken to our souls. It is the freedom to try to live without God—but as the Borg (from Star Trek) say: Resistance is futile. Love is irresistible, isn’t it?